Friday, August 26, 2011

Salt Lake Tribune: Ogden City Illegally Spent $434,000 Without Council Approval - Updated

We can't help but wonder whether the knowledge that this audit was in the pipeline could have been a material factor in Boss Godfrey's decision to refrain from running for re-election this year

Updated: This is not a proud moment either for the administration or the council, wethinks

Blockbuster Cathy McKitrick story this morning from the Salt Lake Tribune, smacking Boss Godfrey hard for misappropriating Ogden City Capital Improvement funds. Here's the lede:
A state auditor’s investigation, launched by a complaint from activist Dan Schroeder, found Ogden city administrators improperly spent $434,000 on capital improvement projects without first getting City Council approval.

The city had a "significant deficiency" in internal controls — which is considered less severe than a "material weakness," but "important enough to merit attention by those charged with governance," according to an Aug. 18 letter from state auditor Auston Johnson.
Read the full story here:
And here's the eye opening full audit report, which we've uploaded to our storage site:
We can't help but wonder whether the knowledge that this audit was in the pipeline could have been a material factor in Boss Godfrey's decision to refrain from running for re-election this year.

And a Weber County Forum Tip O' The Hat to tireless Ogden City political activist Dan Schroeder, for getting the ball rolling on this.

The world-wide blogosphere awaits your ever-savvy comments concerning these latest revelations of Matthew Godfrey misconduct.

Update 8/27/11 7:10 a.m.: The Standard-Examiner is now carrying the story, too:
Interestingly, Mr. Schwebke reports that "[t]he administration also said it has since worked jointly with the city council to pass an ordinance to prevent future issues such as those detailed in the audit," which now belatedly explains the Council's motivation for its heretofore inexplicable 4/4/11 "mad dash," to expand Boss Godfrey's discretionary spending authority, through the raising of capital improvement project limits and the establishment of an array of administration-controlled "slush funds."

Plainly, the Council was aware of the State Auditor's pending investigation clear back in April; but the Council coyly refrained from saying anything publicly about it. Instead of putting the over-reachmg Boss Godrey's feet to the fire, the pro-Godfrey Council Chair, Ms. Caitlin G0hnour, just capitulated, and helped usher through an ordinance which is the equivalent of shutting the barn door, after all the livesock have escaped. This is not a proud moment either for the administration or the council, wethinks.

39 comments:

Dan S. said...

Dunno about Godfrey, but I would speculate that this audit played a role in Mr. Patterson's decision to seek employment elsewhere.

Curmudgeon said...

The Administration  can bob and weave and tap dance all it likes but it's undeniably the responsibility of the city's mayor  to know what the  rules require   regarding grants it receives and city capital expenditures, and to  stay within those rules, just as it is the Council's responsibility to oversee  Administration's expenditures.   Neither the Mayor nor the Council majority, this report makes it clear, have been doing the jobs the voters entrusted to them .   It should not have been up to a private citizen to bring these matters to the State Auditor's  attention.  "Opps! We didn't know, or if we did, we thought it was ok just this one time, or maybe two, or OK, OK three, to look the other way" won't cut it as a Mayor's excuse, nor as an excuse for a Winkin', Blinkin' and Nod  Council majority. There's an election coming in just a few weeks.  Might be wise to keep in mind which candidate for Mayor has been the most consistent member of the Mayor's enabling faction  on the Council for the past eight years.  

Donk9 said...

After 12 years of an overbearing, ethically-challenged dufus in the Mayor's office there is a tendency to think that anyone will be an improvement. Given our local system, unless we have a Council that keeps its eye on the ball and the Mayor, history can repeat itself.

althepal said...

The logical approach, seems to me would be to replace the current dufus Council Chair, the Godfrey suckup Caitlin Gochnour with somebody else who has maybe a little more "Sack."

Sadly, there'll be now way to oust this Godfreyite bitch, unless somebody wants to do a write-in campaign.

Any takers?

Rudi?

rudizink said...

Sorry to disappoint, Al.  As my favorite Civil War Hero, General William T Sherman said in the aftermath of the Great US Civil war, when some folks were looking to run a great post-Civil War General for the POTUS post.:

"If nominated, I will not run; if elected, I will not serve."

rudizink said...

LOL!  How totally weird would it be... if we were somehow to learn that a totally corrupt individual like John "Purehert" Patterson fled his association with Boss Godfrey, because he couldn't stand Godfrey's "dirty dealings"?

Dan S. said...

Well, that's not what I had in mind. Mr. Patterson was right in the middle of at least two of the three scandals described in the report, while Mr. Godfrey maintained some level of plausible deniability.

Dan S. said...

Not very plausible, really, come to think of it. But the really damning quotes are from Patterson, not Godfrey.

frank hando said...

Patterson was a symptom. Godfey is the disease. Johnson is a staff infection, borne of sucking you know what. Brandon Stephenson is worse, because he is way dumber, and he takes marching orders from midgets without souls. Caldwell is a puppet. He has no balls. Wake up, ogden.

rudizink said...

Let's not hem and haw around the main issues, Dan.  Let's look at how employee statements are viewed under fundamental rules regarding employer/employee master/servant legal relationships:

The legal doctrine of respondeat superior

Are we  having fun yet?

I believe so.

Frank Hando said...

Patterson was a symptom. Godfrey is the disease. Johnson is a staff infection,
borne of sucking you know what. Brandon Stephenson is worse, because he is way
dumber, and he takes marching orders from midgets without souls. Caldwell is a
puppet. He has no balls. Wake up, ogden

Frank Hondo said...

Patterson was a symptom. Godfrey is the disease. Johnson is a staff infection, borne of sucking you know what. Brandon Stephenson is worse,because he is way dumber, and he takes marching orders from midgets without souls. Caldwell is a puppet. He has no balls. Wake up, ogden

Frank Hando said...

Patterson was a symptom. Godfrey is the disease. Johnson is a staff infection, borne of sucking you know what. Brandon Stephenson is worse,because he is way dumber, and he takes marching orders from midgets without souls. Caldwell is a puppet. He has no balls. Wake up, ogden

OneWhoKnows2 said...

The three main crooks are Godfrey, Patterson and Johnson.  They controled the City.  Godfrey now leaving before being charged of scandals, Patterson aleady ran and Casper will pay big time for that asshole and then theres Johnson left.  He's still there.  He's now the CAO.  God help us.

Rudizink said...

Don't forget (Dumb)  Brandon (Stephenson) , who's been a long time aider, abettor and sleazy co-conspirator.

rudizink said...

Don't forget (Dumb)  Brandon (Stephenson) , who's been a long time aider, abettor and sleazy co-conspirator.

Dan S. said...

Rudi, the law is irrelevant here because nobody's gonna be prosecuted for anything. I think Patterson may have left in part because he knew this news would make it harder for him to keep his job--either under Godfrey (who may can always use a fall guy) or, more likely, under a new mayor.

Dan S. said...

Don't forget Gary Williams.

SCROTUS said...

I like this.

Ohnotagain said...

And to keep in mind the candidate(s) who can and will hold the public trust, maintain transparency and it would be really refreshing to have someone with respect for and input from the voters who they are actually elected to represent as opposed to the seeming  greed, power, buddy system of goverment we currently maintain.  .

Danny said...

I note that the Standard's reporter, Scott Schwebke, had to take the
usual dig at Dan Schroeder, after Schroeder did Schwebke's job for him
as usual, and after the SL Tribune broke the story first, as usual.  And
as usual, everyone is pointing out how corrupt the Godfrey
administration is, but Schwebke spends a great deal of time letting the
crooks (Godfrey, Patterson, Johnson) protest their innocence, as crooks
always do.  Outrageous corruption in the Godfrey Administration, SL Trib
scoops the story, Schwebke runs interference for Godfrey, and Dan
Schroeder ferrets out the story ... as usual. 

Danny said...

I note that the Standard's reporter, Scott Schwebke, had to take the usual dig at Dan Schroeder, after Schroeder did Schwebke's job for him as usual, and after the SL Tribune broke the story first, as usual.  And as usual, everyone is pointing out how corrupt the Godfrey administration is, but Schwebke spends a great deal of time letting the crooks (Godfrey, Patterson, Johnson) protest their innocence, as crooks always do.  Outrageous corruption in the Godfrey Administration, SL Trib scoops the story, Schwebke runs interference for Godfrey, and Dan Schroeder ferrets out the story ... as usual. 

Eleaor said...

Dear WCF-ers,

I am glad to see that as many WCF-ers seem to have chosen
MIKE CALDWELL a the most qualified of the Mayoral Candidates currently running
for Mayor of OGDEN, they are also reminding Mike Caldwell that WCF will give him
and his political ethics the same kind of attention as they showered on Mayor
Godfrey. In fact, Mayor Godfrey's tenure as been a great WARM UP for keeping
Mike Caldwell not assuming he gets a HALL PASS on political ethics, in all
political process.

Below is a short note I sent to friend Cathy
McKitrick. Just because she lives in S OGDEN and currently writes for the SL
Trib, does not mean that she does not car about OGDEN CITY politics.
Clearly......OGDEN CITY POLITICS sets the standards for all other Weber County
Municipalities and unincorporated Weber County areas or Towns.

WHO THE
F.......is IT'S JUST POLITICS on the WCF posts on Caldwell's Push Campaign
style. Look at this totally ignorant line of thinking:

"It's
just.......

" I have been blessed to know Mike and serve the community
along side of him........blah, blah........etc BLAH."

It's
POLITICS........It's just politics. IT"S not RELIGION. Keep your religion to
yourself............It's Just politics.

On 2nd thought, I will add a few
more posts to that article so that we can all refer back to it and link to it as
the FIRST time WCF core bloggers started taking MIKE CALDWELL seriously, and
MIKE CALDWELL supporters started READING WCF on their BOY.

WHO is TOAD
HALL. I hope he is as entertaining as the rest of you, especially with the OGDEN
MAYORAL election cycle.

ET

rudizink said...

Jagged, but good. methinls

Smaatguy said...

makes one long for the days of Scott Brown and Stewy...lol...not!

rudizink said...

Eleanor:

Toad Hall is one of our most respected Old Tyme  WCF posters.

Read up:

http://wcforum.blogspot.com/search?q=#uds-search-results

rudizink said...

"Rudi, the law is irrelevant here because nobody's gonna be prosecuted for anything. "

Too funny. Even though the Godfrey administration is the most lawless Ogden City Adminstration of all time, with Godfrey's legal whore Gary Williams  covering the crooked  Godfrey's backside at every turn, are we now supposed to refrain from citing the rules which should oitherwise govern Ogden City adminisration conduct?

Please tell me that's NOT what you're saying.

Curmudgeon said...

Sorry, Danny, but I can't find any dig at Mr. Schroeder by Mr. Schwebke in the article.  Unless you're referring to Ogden's new MAC [Mayoral Apologist in Chief] Mark Johnson's comments.   All Mr. Schwebke did was report Johnson's dig at Dan.  Mr. Schwebke'd not have been doing his job if he didn't ask for administration reaction to the Auditor's report on the Godfrey Administration's playing fast and loose with the people's money again and again.   Wrong to attribute Chief Apologist Johnson's statements to Mr. Schwebke.

Dan S. said...

Rudi, I'm just sayin' that the law is irrelevant to our speculation on why Patterson chose to leave. He knew this news wouldn't be good for his career in Ogden--not because Godfrey is corrupt and not because Godfrey is ultimately responsible, but simply because he (Patterson) was a full participant in these scandals and is on record lying to RAMP and telling the press he would "do it again".

Dan S. said...

New twist: It seems that city council members received the auditor's report a few days before I did, but it was marked "confidential"--even though the cover letter says in black and white that it's a public document. I'm trying to get to the bottom of this disturbing example of gratuitous secrecy (at best) and bullying council members to keep their mouths shut (at worst).

althepal said...

Hmmm... I wonder who might have marked it "confidential?"  Boss Godfrey's "suck up" Council chair, Caitlin Gochour, perhaps?

Dang, I swear I'd even trade this dippy broad for the 2005 Council's Godfrey suckup, Rick Safsten, who finally saw the light however, and late in hi scouncil career told Boss Godfrey to "stick it."

Dan S. said...

I've put in a few inquiries and I'm waiting to hear back from people. Meanwhile, I'll merely observe that the practice of bullying council members into keeping their mouths shut for no good reason predates Ms. Gochnour's tenure as chair.

rudizink said...

Hmmm... I don't remenber anyone successfully bullying Amy when she was council chair.

Can't say the same for Caitlin...

Curmudgeon said...

I think you're a little hard on the Council Chairwoman.  I too wish she'd been on some key issues a  less interested in forging consensus and a  more willing to risk confrontation with Hizzonah as the Council chair.  But let's recall that a Council chairperson's job is to build majorities on the Council [both for or against proposals], not simply to vent his or her own opinion.  Leaders of legislative bodies often are not permitted that luxury.

And in some key instances, her approach, oft denounced in these parts as sniveling gutlessness, ended up saving the city considerable money.   Remember, it was the compromise brokered by Ms. G. on a city pledge for funds for the Ice Climbing DownTown Out Door Year Round Popsicle that provided that the money the city pledged for the project [about half what Hizzonah had wanted] had to be the last money spent on the project, not the first.  Not a dime could be spent until the full cost of the project had been funded by other sources, which never happened since the Mayor's promised private investors never showed up.   What the Mayor wanted was an unrestricted pledge of funds.  The brokered compromise saved the city a bundle. 

There are other matters on which I wish she'd compromised less and spoke out more forcefully.  But to dismiss her as a  "Godfreyite bitch" is, on the evidence, unjustified. 

Curmudgeon said...

Except that the Council Chair by his or her self cannot do much of anything.  I don't recall many of the votes that went other than you and I might have liked them to go while CG was Chair being 4-3 in favor of Hizzonah's proposals. Usually they were 6-1 or 5-2.  If the votes aren't there, the votes aren't there, and sometimes, then, an artful compromise is the course of prudence.

 On the Popsicle, if it had come to an all or nothing vote, it might well have gone the Mayor's way and Og City would not be out 200K.  Hizzonah was winning most of the votes on this Council, remember. 

Being an effective legislative leader often means understanding and practicing the art of the possible. 

Curmudgeon said...

I wonder if the Auditor's Report had a release date. If it did, circulating copies to the Council members in advance of the release date stamped "confidential" doesn't strike me as all that unusual or that much of a problem.

If, as I said, the Auditor's report had an official release date. Which I don't know. 

Donk9 said...

Right you are Rudi but both ladies have been described by the right wing as trouble makers and that isn't accurate nor fair. Caitlin is a bit of a paradox - maybe its a matter of different strokes........

blackrulon said...

I highly suspect the Auditors Report did not have a official release date. having read Schwebkes fawning prior coverage of Godfrey the report was no so much released to the press as it escaped to the public.

rudizink said...

I'm gonna have to respectfully disagree with you on this, Curm.

In a circumstance where our Council "leader" (so-called) should have  put Godfrey's feet to the fire for his lawless misconduct, Ms. Gochnour instead engineered a solution which both yielded the council's  sworn duty to serve as a financial check and balance, but also "shut the barn door, after all the livestock had escaped."

Gochnour lobbied actively to be the Council Chair; and she thus deserves to take all the heat for this embarrassing fiasco, where the Council clearly abdicated its oversight responsibility.

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